Putin’s meeting with North Korean leader may be held

Jun 02, 2018, 01:48
Putin’s meeting with North Korean leader may be held

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that two days of talks with Kim Yong-chol in NY has contributed "real progress" towards the planned summit, which is expected to be held in Singapore, adding that the US hopes it will lead to the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" end to North Korea's nuclear programme.

Trump said after an Oval Office meeting Friday with North Korea's No. 2 leader Kim Yong Chol that he'd be making a mistake not to go forward with the on-again, off-again nuclear summit in Singapore.

"That doesn't mean it gets all done at one meeting, maybe you have to have a second or third and maybe we'll have none, but it's in good hands, that I can tell you", Trump said.

Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, the most senior North Korean to visit the United States in nearly two decades, are expected to start their talks around 9 a.m.at an unoccupied luxury condominium that is the residence of the deputy head of the USA mission to the United Nations two short blocks away.

After his second summit with Kim on May 26, Moon voiced hopes that should the Trump-Kim summit succeed, the leaders of the two Koreas and the USA could push for a declaration of a formal end to the war.

Pompeo spoke to reporters at a news conference in NY after meeting Thursday with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol.

North Korea's envoy Kim Yong-chol shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during their meeting in NY.

After a almost 80-minute-long meeting in the Oval Office, Trump, Pompeo, and Kim Yong Chol posed for a photo opp. Trump had mused that Kim's "attitude" had changed after the North Korean leader's surprise visit to China two weeks ago, suggesting China was pushing Kim away from the table.

In a related news, an official from Trump's State Department said, "Between now and if we're going to have a summit, they're going to have to make clear what they're willing to do".

U.S. officials now expect the summit to go ahead, but they want Pyongyang to accept that nuclear disarmament be at the heart of the discussion - and warn there can be no end to trade sanctions without it.

He made the announcement on Friday afternoon, following a meeting with top Noth Korean dignitary Kim Yong-chol in the White House - the first visit to Washington by a key official from the isolated country in at least 18 years.

The meeting comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity as the two countries look to revive the prospects of the summit after US President Donald Trump abruptly canceled the scheduled meeting last week, citing the North's open hostility.

"The people of North Korea can have a brighter future and the world can be more peaceful", he said.

Cho Myoung Gyon, the South Korean unification minister, warned this week that "significant" differences remain between the US and North Korea on how to achieve denuclearization. But a meeting never came to be - and no sitting president has met with a North Korean leader since.

Trump says his June 12 meeting will be "a beginning".

But, he added, the president and the North Korean dictator could make history if the North agrees to denuclearize in exchange for guaranteed security.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong Un and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Pyongyang Thursday, according to North Korea's official state news agency.

A White House visit will be a propaganda win for North Korea. Kim Yong Chol gave Trump a letter from Kim Jong Un, which Trump described as a "very nice".

It was a extraordinary softening of tone toward North Korea from a president who past year threatened to rain "fire and fury" on the country because of the threat its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles pose to the United States. Relations turned sour again after George W. Bush took office in early 2001 with a tough policy on the North.

The White House emphasised that it has remained in close contact with South Korean and Japanese officials as preparations for the talks continue.

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